To many people, "military robots" mean unmanned aerial or ground vehicles. Many military robots fit these categories, but some go way beyond this definition.
For example, we've reported before on Boston Dynamics robots that mimic human, animal, and insect movements. The Georgia Institute of Technology's Scalybots mimic a snake's movements. Designers of these tactical robots are trying to come up with small machines with rugged design, multiple data collection and communication methods, long battery life, the ability to negotiate rough terrain, and, in some cases, lifting and grasping capabilities. The goal is to go where humans can't without risking their lives.
Click on the image below to start a slideshow highlighting 14 robotic soldiers.
The Machine Lab's MMP-30 Mechanical Mobile Platform is used for explosive ordnance disposal in Iraq. It weighs 50 pounds (including control unit), measures about 23 inches long when collapsed, and can be carried in a backpack. Its pan/tilt color infrared camera has 180-degree pan and 150-degree tilt. The robot also sports a color, wide-angle gripper camera and a color, wide-angle rear-facing camera. The four-axis arm has a 20-inch reach and can lift five pounds at full extension. (Source: The Machine Lab)
But what happens when its OUR troops that encounter killing machines that have no fear? This will cost lives, not save lives. Humans always seem to think that the "other side" are idiots. But witness the recent capture of the drone by Iran. I suspect they spoofed the drone's GPS into thinking it was back home safely so it simply landed. Not a shot was fired. All technology can be weaponized. The future does not seem rosey for humans unless we all realize that killing other people will not solve the majority of the problems.
I think the point about the tendency to assume the other side are idiots is a very good one. From what I've seen, it's not just the US, or those nations we currently call friends, that are working on R&D for autonomous lethalized robots.
Of all those robots shown only the talon swat has been weaponized. I think with shotgun. Didn't think big dog was off the leash yet :-) last time I saw it they were still trying to sort out the pgo effect when starting to move. They were talking about a version that would home in on the future solider gear and retrieve wounded. None of these are really autonomous and nothing has the versatility as a human in combat. And boots on the ground are how you occupy territory. Not sure robots turning other robots into scrap will accomplish much as there is nothing risked.
Spears, bow & arrows, swords, catapults, shields, knight's armor, guns, machine guns, etc.... Man has used technology to try to gain a weapon's advantage since the dawn of time. It is not that you assume that your opponent is an idiot, quite the contrary; you assume he is very smart. That is why you have to try to stay one step ahead.
Robots turning robots into scrap is A WHOLE LOT BETTER than anything turning ME into garbage! Any day and every time! As for "weaponized " robots, I have seen a small robotic thing with a pair of minicannons mounted and it could carry "quite a few" rounds. That was a while back, and I am not at liberty to provide details, except that it was a US project. That was a serious robot that I would never want to meet up with.
Hmmm, that's a good point King DWS: if we're making and deploying weaponized robots and so is the other side, what's the point of robots duking it out with each other? For that matter, I wonder if the weaponized bots are being designed to take out humans or other bots, or both?
Ann, sorry to get political, but from reading the news it is hard not to get the impression that those who are unfriendly towards th US and its' allies are concentrating on autonomous, lethalized humans, not robots. I know of at least one occasion in which a bomb disposal robot was deployed to disarm a suicide bomber who had been shot and wounded, and it was unclear whether he was still cabable of triggering his IED.
Battar, if you mean suicide bombers, yes, they've been around for some time and we've all heard of them. But I'm not sure what your point is--what do you see as the connection between them and these robots?
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.